MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — A Harlem man was sentenced Wednesday to three to nine years in prison for running a prostitution ring that included a 17-year-old girl he sold for sex while also fathering her child.
Lamont Burson, 33, beat the teen with canes and wire hangers, had her tattooed with his "pimp name"— L$s — and psychologically abused the young woman for nearly four years, prosecutors said.
The girl, abandoned by her family, had been prostituted since was just 12 —and met Burson when she was 17, after her former pimp was killed. Prosecutors said Burson even made the teen sign a contract saying that she would stay with him “until death do us part.”
But the young woman, who had a baby with Burson, finally decided to get away from her abuser when he attacked her while she held their child.
Because she left, prosecutors said Burson filed for custody of the child and had the "outstanding gall" to allege that the victim was an unfit mother because she was a prostitute. He was arrested soon after, when the woman told authorities he was her abusive pimp.
"I apologize," Burson said during Thursday's sentencing. "I want to return back to society to be a productive, positive, law-abiding citizen."
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., said the case was a result of an investigation conducted by the Human Trafficking Program, which the DA's office created in March of this year.
“It took the victim in this case great courage to come forward after suffering years of abuse at the hands of this sex trafficker, and I would like to thank her for her bravery," Vance said in a statement.